The Ever-Changing Faces of PTSD

By: Jason M. Jowers, M.S. MFT

meditating soldier
U.S. Army [Practicing Meditation by Dr. Valerie Rice, January 30, 2018, CC0]
I’ve always been a fan of history; from learning about and soaking up all I can about ancient civilizations to the history that is being made day by day in our modern world. A huge part of that fascination has always been learning about major conflicts and wars that have taken place. This education goes beyond the timelines and details of how these conflicts began and took place, but what it was like for those who lived through them.

With that idea in mind, I wanted to look into the history of a concept that has affected people in conflicts and wars throughout: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This article [1] from PBS breaks down what we’ve known about PTSD for the past 100 years, with the end of World War I to modern day military conflicts. I found this article to be very interesting in that it highlights a history of the past 100 plus years of how we’ve looked at and thought about PTSD. This phenomenon of PTSD related to combat showcases the intersection of two constructs that clearly physicians and researchers have been exploring for the past 100 years: military combat and mental health.

However, it seems the more we know about PTSD, the symptoms themselves and how it affects people’s daily lives, the more questions come about. There are a great number of treatments and therapies out there that are helping and the military is funding new research and ways to increase quality of life for military service members. We are making progress in the understanding of PTSD and time will tell if we can make changes within the cultural views of mental health and exposure to trauma.

For more MFLN resources on bouncing back for military service members, be sure to tune into our upcoming Resilience Series, a three-part webinars series that will take place starting on August 20th. Head on over to our series homepage here. Note: FREE Social Work, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and Case Manager CE credits will be available.

References

[1] McDonald, M., Brandt, M., & Bluhm, R. (2018). From Shell-Shock to PTSD, A Century of Invisible War Trauma. PBS.org. Retrieved from: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/from-shell-shock-to-ptsd-a-century-of-invisible-war-trauma

This post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Learn more about us at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/family-development, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.

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